What Now?! – 4/28/21

“For the last 100 days, President Joe Biden and his top advisers have mounted an urgent, wartime effort to get millions of coronavirus vaccines into the arms of Americans in order to beat back a pandemic that has upended the world for the better part of year,” CNN reports.

“The effort has allowed the US to go from having one of the worst Covid responses in the world to being a global leader in getting shots in arms.”

NBC News on comparing Obama and Biden: “Both presidents inherited a crisis-ravaged economy, but their signature 100-day achievements look markedly different: Biden’s stimulus plan was about 2½ times the size of President Barack Obama’s. It was easy for voters to understand, centered on popular $1,400 cash payments for most people, while Obama’s stimulus program was criticized as being too small and complicated, delivering small-dollar benefits in paychecks that polls showed many people didn’t even notice.”

“While Obama pared back his stimulus to win Republican votes, Biden met with Republicans once before he opted for a special process to go it alone. While conservative deficit hawks reined in Obama, Biden has brushed them off, arguing that now is the time to spend big. While Obama was hesitant to brag about his achievements, Biden’s team regularly takes credit for the receding pandemic — and voters give him high marks.”

CNN: How Biden anchored his first 100 days on two simple principles.

According to the COVID Data Tracker, California averaged just 33 cases of Covid-19 for every 100,000 residents over the past 7 days, which is the lowest of any state in the nation.

“So far in his young presidency, President Joe Biden has been one of the best friends the stock market has ever had,” CNBC reports. “Better, in fact, than any president before him going back to at least the 1950s and the Dwight Eisenhower administration, as the 46th chief executive has witnessed an unprecedented growth on Wall Street in his first 100 days in office.”

There’s another Trump prediction that did not come true.

“President Joe Biden is hitting the road after his prime-time address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, as he looks to build support in key swing states for his infrastructure and family-assistance legislative proposals,” Bloomberg reports.

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden will visit the 39th president, Jimmy Carter, and his wife, Rosalynn, while in Georgia this week, the AP reports.

“President Biden, in an effort to pay for his ambitious economic agenda, is expected to propose giving the Internal Revenue Service an extra $80 billion and more authority over the next 10 years to help crack down on tax evasion by high-earners and large corporations,” the New York Times reports.

“The additional money and enforcement power will accompany new disclosure requirements for people who own businesses that are not organized as corporations and for other wealthy people who could be hiding income from the government.”

Bloomberg: “The U.S. president is set to unveil a tax package on Wednesday that promises to raise revenues from those earning $400,000 or more a year. But executives and professionals making over $500,000 annually already pay relatively high tax rates.”

“What has potentially far greater ramifications is that Biden and Democrats in Congress are threatening to target a much wealthier group — the growing number of Americans with fortunes starting in the tens of millions of dollars — who often pay lower tax rates than many middle-class families.”

“India was initially seen as a success story in weathering the pandemic, but the virus is now racing through its population of nearly 1.4 billion, and systems are beginning to collapse,” the AP reports.

“In addition to oxygen running out, intensive care units are operating at full capacity and nearly all ventilators are in use. As the death toll mounts, the night skies in some Indian cities glow from the funeral pyres, as crematories are overwhelmed and bodies are burned in the open air.”

Overseeing an unspeakable tragedy is something that Modi, Bolsonaro and Trump have in common.

Attorney General Merrick Garland is expected to announce an investigation into the policing practices of the Louisville Police Department, ABC News reports.

“The Department of Homeland Security will undergo an internal review to root out white supremacy and extremism in its ranks as part of a larger effort to combat extremist ideology in the federal government,” the New York Times reports.

“The task of identifying extremists throughout the United States, and specifically in government agencies, has come to the top of President Biden’s agenda since Jan. 6, when a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol. Many of the rioters were found to be members of extremist groups.”

“The Environmental Protection Agency announced Monday that it will move to grant California permission to set stricter climate requirements for cars and SUVs, a reversal of a key Trump administration policy,” the Washington Post reports.

“The step, coming days after the Transportation Department withdrew Trump-era restrictions of state tailpipe emission rules, could help pave the way for a broader climate deal with the nation’s automakers.”

“The U.S. will begin sharing its entire pipeline of vaccines from AstraZeneca once the COVID-19 vaccine clear federal safety reviews, with as many as 60 million doses expected to be available for export in the coming months,” the AP reports.

“The White House is hammering out the details of an increasingly likely European summit between President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, which could happen as soon as early summer,” CNN reports.  “The planning comes as the Biden administration is preparing to send Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Ukraine next month, according to a Ukrainian government source close to the ongoing negotiations.”

Playbook: “OK, some of you will argue that he lost it long ago. But as careful students of his evening show, we’ve noticed that [Tucker] Carlson has gradually become more unhinged in recent weeks. He’s devoted enormous attention to apologias for the Jan. 6 insurrectionists. He seemed noticeably perturbed the night that Derek Chauvin was found guilty. And under the banner of just asking questions! he has given quarter to anti-vaxxers and Covid-19 conspiracists.”

“But on Monday night, during a rant where it was hard to tell whether Carlson was serious or not — his Trump-like way of distancing himself from the content of his monologues is to always keep you guessing as to whether he’s just putting you on — Carlson made a comment that was beyond the pale even for him, and especially strange for a self-styled anti-nanny state libertarian.”

Said Carlson: “Your response when you see children wearing masks as they play should be no different from your response to seeing someone beat a kid at Walmart. Call the police immediately, contact child protective services. Keep calling until someone arrives.”

If any Tucker Carlson viewer approaches me objecting to my wearing a mask, things will not end well for them. And if they dare approach and harass my three year old niece, they will simply die.

The New York Post deleted a story that suggested copies of a book by Vice President Kamala Harris were given to migrant children who have crossed the border in “welcome kits,” CNN reports.

“House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said it’s imperative for Republicans to stay united if they want to take back the majority. But cracks are widening in his own relationship with one of his top deputies over former President Donald Trump,” Politico reports.

“At a retreat meant to craft a cohesive message for the party, McCarthy (R-CA) and GOP Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) illustrated the exact rift the GOP has fought to avoid. While the former president wasn’t even invited to the House GOP’s annual policy retreat here in the Sunshine State, his presence has loomed large over the three-day gathering.”

McCarthy was asked by Punchbowl News if Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) is still a good fit for his leadership team. He responded that’s a “question for the conference” and added that if you’re at this retreat and talking about anything besides policy, “you’re not being productive.”

Jake Sherman: “This relationship — Cheney and the GOP leadership — is very near a breaking point. I’ve been focused on House leadership for a long time, and this is about as bad as it’s gotten.”

“I think we have a huge number of interesting candidates, but I think that we’re going to be in a good position to be able to take the White House. I do think that some of our candidates who led the charge, particularly the senators who led the unconstitutional charge, not to certify the election, you know, in my view, that’s disqualifying.” — Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), in an interview with the New York Post.

“Republicans on Monday called on John Kerry to resign from President Joe Biden’s National Security Council over claims that he revealed sensitive information about Israeli military operations to Iran,” Politico reports.

“According to leaked audio revealed Sunday by The New York Times, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said Kerry told him that Israel attacked Iranian assets in Syria ‘at least 200 times.’ Zarif added that he was surprised that Kerry would reveal that sensitive information to him.”

As you will read in the article above, the story is completely false.

“In a leaked audiotape that offers a glimpse into the behind-the scenes power struggles of Iranian leaders, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the Revolutionary Guards Corps call the shots, overruling many government decisions and ignoring advice,” the New York Times reports.

“The audio was leaked at a critical moment for Iran, as the country is discussing the framework for a possible return to a nuclear deal with the United States and other Western powers. Talks through intermediaries have been taking place in Geneva.”

“Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is emerging as the chief obstacle to quick passage of President Biden’s $2.25 trillion infrastructure package that Democrats want to move through Congress sooner rather than later,” The Hill reports.

“Manchin is ramping up discussions with Republicans about what a scaled-down infrastructure package should look like, and some GOP senators are even optimistic that the moderate Democrat can be persuaded to block efforts to raise the corporate tax rate.”

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R), a rising party star and possible 2024 presidential candidate, “was a natural get as a headline speaker for last night’s Kansas GOP fundraising dinner,” the Kansas City Star reports.

“Then, last month, she vetoed a priority item on the Republican culture war agenda — banning transgender athletes from girls sports.”

“In district and party meetings ahead of the dinner, the name of the headline speaker went unmentioned. Some said her veto had caused them to question a politician they previously viewed as a strong voice.”

President Biden on Tuesday is expected to sign an executive order raising the minimum wage for federal contractors to $15 by March 2022, The Hill reports.

In previously unreported deposition documents obtained by the New York Daily News, Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, who has micromanaged the organization’s finances for decades, shrugged off interest in or knowledge of the legalities of Trump’s till. Said Weisselberg: “That’s not my thing.”

That’s quite a statement by itself.

New York Times: “The task force, to be led by Vice President Kamala Harris and populated by cabinet officials and top White House advisers, will issue recommendations on how the federal government can use existing authority to help workers join labor unions and bargain collectively. It will also recommend new policies aimed at achieving these goals.”

“The White House document notes that the National Labor Relations Act, the 1935 law governing federal labor rights, explicitly sought to encourage collective bargaining, but that the law has never been fully carried out in this regard.”

Gerard Baker: “It’s hard to overstate the extent to which the Trump presidency was for nonpartisans simply wearying. It often felt like being a child of parents going through the collapse of a desperately unhappy marriage: Daddy rage-tweeting about some latest grievance while the media howl back in an angry storm of wild accusations and threats.”

“The Biden presidency by contrast is a throwback to an ideal of an earlier age of family tranquility: Old Joe sitting benignly in the La-Z-Boy, listening to Bing Crosby on the record player. Mother Media dutifully handing him his slippers and a scotch and reassuring him all is well. The kids quietly doing their homework, and everyone’s in bed by 9.”

“This contrast alone—the dialing down of the hysteria we’ve lived with for four years—probably explains the 10-point difference in the Trump and Biden ratings. The cleverest White House move has been the careful rationing of the president’s presence in the lives of ordinary Americans, the rediscovery that scarcity has value.”

“Imagine there’s a car alarm that’s been going off for a long time and suddenly it’s quiet.” — Former GOP operative Sarah Longwell, quoted by McClatchy, on the Trump-to-Biden voters she conducted interviews with, calling them “the most optimistic group in the history of focus groups I’ve done.”

The New Yorker obtained a copy of secret video footage of Wayne LaPierre, the head of the National Rifle Association, on an elephant hunt eight years ago.

“It shows that when guides tracked down an elephant for LaPierre, the NRA chief proved to be a poor marksman. After LaPierre’s first shot wounded the elephant, guides brought him a short distance from the animal, which was lying on its side, immobilized. Firing from point-blank range, LaPierre shot the animal three times in the wrong place. Finally, a guide had the host of Under Wild Skies fire the shot that killed the elephant.”

“For three decades, LaPierre has led the NRA’s fund-raising efforts by railing against out-of-touch ‘elites’ and selling himself as an authentic champion of American self-reliance and the unfettered right to protect oneself with a gun. But the footage, as well as newly uncovered legal records, suggest that behind his carefully constructed Everyman image, LaPierre is a coddled executive who is clumsy with a firearm, and fearful of the violent political climate he has helped to create.”

This is truly disgusting.

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

1 comment on “What Now?! – 4/28/21

  1. If Wayne LaPierre is allowed to shoot elephants, almost all of which are smarter than him, then somebody should be given a hunting license to shoot Wayne LaPierre. I mean, c’mon, fair is fair. The NRA herd needs culling a lot more than any elephant herd.

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